Tuesday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Lamis Abdelaaty
    @LAbdelaaty

    Many people have pointed out that European countries are treating Ukrainians better than other refugees. So why do countries welcome some refugees and shut others out? I’ve done a lot of research on this exact question.

    The UN Refugee Agency estimates that 1.7 million Ukrainians have fled in less than two weeks. These numbers reflect the fact (thankfully) that borders are open and therefore Ukrainians are able to flee. But why are we seeing such a stark contrast with European responses in 2015-?

    Part of the answer has to do with identity. Ukrainians are seen as white, Christian. Syrians, Afghans, and others are not perceived this way. People sympathize with refugees who they think share their race, religion, etc. But identity is not the whole story.

    There is a foreign policy dimension to this too. It matters that Ukrainians are fleeing a Russian invasion. Welcoming them is another way for European countries to condemn Putin and to powerfully signal which side of the conflict they are on.

    People are also more accepting of those labeled refugees, rather than migrants. Even though most Ukrainians wouldn’t qualify under the 1951 Refugee Convention, we’re not seeing hand-wringing over whether they are “refugees” or “migrants.”

    We’re even seeing differences in how the word “crisis” is used. When people talk about the Ukrainian refugee crisis, it is being framed (correctly) as a crisis *for Ukrainians*. Compare this with 2015, when the focus was on arrivals spurring a crisis *for European countries*.

    The Refugee Convention prohibits “discrimination as to race, religion or country of origin.” But European countries are clearly discriminating among refugee groups. My book shows that this phenomenon is not unique to European countries either.

    This conflict shows us that the EU (the third largest economy in the world) is more than capable of receiving large numbers of refugees who are fleeing deadly violence. We need to bring this empathy to all refugee groups, who are equally worthy of our compassion and assistance.

    6
  2. sam says:
  3. Jon says:

    @sam: Wow that was great, thanks for the link!

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said 92% of reported side-effects after the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were mild.

    About 4,500 people died after being vaccinated, in the US, up to June 2021. But no unusual patterns in the data were detected that might suggest a link to the vaccine itself.

    Study author Dr Tom Shimabukuro said: “[It’s] reassuring that reactions to both mRNA vaccines are generally mild and subside after one or two days – confirming reports from clinical trials and post-authorisation monitoring.”

    Obviously fake news.

    1
  5. Mister Bluster says:

    @sam:..The way it was meant to be played.

    I never had any. Maybe that’s why I love other peoples kids.
    And, oh yeah, I was one once.

    1
  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Moscow has stoked fears of an energy war by threatening to close a major gas pipeline to Germany after the US pushed its European allies to consider banning Russian oil imports over its invasion of Ukraine.

    In an address on Russian state television, Russian deputy prime minister Alexander Novak said: “A rejection of Russian oil would lead to catastrophic consequences for the global market”, and claimed the price of oil could rise to more than US$300 a barrel.

    Novak cited Germany’s decision last month to halt the certification of Nord Stream 2, a secondary pipeline, saying: “We have every right to take a matching decision and impose an embargo on gas pumping through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.”

    He claimed it would be impossible to quickly find a replacement for Russian oil on the European market. “It will take years, and it will still be much more expensive for European consumers. Ultimately, they will be hurt the worst by this outcome,” he said.

    Analysts at Bank of America have said prices could reach US$200 a barrel if most of Russia’s exports were cut off, and oil prices hit near 14-year highs on Tuesday, with Brent crude futures reaching as high as $125.19 a barrel.

    Pick a number, any number. Filled up the tank on my truck last night: 20.5 gallons regular unleaded
    $85 and change

    Yeah, that hurt. We picked a hell of a time to head down to NOLA and see my granddaughter. Oh well, such is life.

    2
  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: Having children is OK. Having grandchildren… Sheeeeeit, that’s where the fun is.

    4
  8. Jon says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Welcome, and enjoy your stay!

  9. MarkedMan says:

    Yesterday there was a back and forth between myself and a couple of others about whether there was a reluctance to truly listen to someone just because they were challenging one’s world view. Lest anyone think I was putting myself above all this and lecturing from my self-perceived moral high ground, let me share this.

    At my company we have a number of open positions that either directly or indirectly report to me or affect my team enough that I’m involved in the interview process. Now, as many of you know, I’m not a fan of Trump and I question the judgement of his supporters and am contemptuous of outright trumpers. Despite this, I believe strongly that every person deserves to be judged on their own merits , which conflicts with my tendency to pre-judge anyoneTrump adjacent. Put more directly, I am prejudiced against them. So I have to work hard not to let that affect my evaluation. This isn’t just for moral reasons, but also practical ones, as I would be eliminating good canditates. I know this because, while I don’t talk about politics at work and that’s the norm in my company, I’m pretty sure I work with a number of people in the Trump-o-sphere and a few of them are some of the most pleasant people to work with – highly competent and just good people. It would be easy for me to fall into the trap of thinking, “well, they are just one of the good ones”. I could go on about how I try to overcome my prejudices but I won’t. (OK, I’ll share one rule – never Google anyone before an interview, or even after! LinkedIn only!) Suffice it to say, I don’t hold myself in a morally superior position on this. It’s something that, lately, I’ve had to deal with virtually every day.

    7
  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jon: We always do. I like to look for things that are cheap and easy to do and this time I’m making it to the Lafeyette Cemetery #1 come hell or high water. I love visiting cemeteries.

    1
  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Or not: **PLEASE NOTE, DUE TO REPAIRS AND ROUTINE MAINTENANCE, THE CEMETERY IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED.**

    Fck me.

    ETA: But #2 is still open!!! Hooray!

    1
  12. JohnSF says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Far more related to religion than ethnicity IMO.
    Though it varies; ethnic discrimination probably more marked in say NW than SE Europe.
    As I’ve said before, if you can distinguish between an average Syrian and an average south east European, you are an extremely acute observer.

    But religion is certainly a factor.
    And particularly in south-east Europe, where the wars of liberation against Ottoman Muslim rule only ended a century ago.
    Which in European terms is recent.

    But there’s an even bigger factor, at least in the UK, according to polls I’ve seen and also some people I have spoken too.
    The victims of civil wars are viewed unfavourably; the sentiment often seems t be “it’s their fault they can’t get along with each other; why should we give them shelter?”

    Poorly informed, short-sighted and callous, certainly; but it seems to be an even larger element than religion or ethnicity.
    Which is why combating such attitudes requires a different information strategy to a purely religio/ethnic prejudice; and why Lamis Abdelaaty project may fail if that factor is ignored.

    Ethnicity is undoubtedly the main issue when it comes to sub-Saharan African refugees, though.

    2
  13. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Cities of the dead.

    1
  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: and why Lamis Abdelaaty project may fail if that factor is ignored.

    Rereading her thread, I don’t think that will be a problem for her. She doesn’t appear to be ignoring anything.

    1
  15. Jon says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yah, both are good.

    Also St. Louis No. 1 and No. 2 are pretty great. And while I generally don’t condone Metairie, the Metairie Cemetery is pretty cool too.

  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    My 90 year-old mother-in-law died a few days ago – vascular dementia. We own the house she was in for the last two years, a house large enough to allow my sister-in-law to carry most of the weight of care. What do we do with the house, now? That’s item #1.

    Item #2 is that we’re buying a house for our daughter and her live-in BF (who we love, great kid). But there’s a big gap in income between the two families and we are worried about issues of pride, but also ownership.

    Item #3: Some company offered to buy out not our IP, but our cash flow from existing properties. For six million dollars. We said, “Nah.”

    Item #4, taxes.

    Item #5, remodel the kitchen, install a jacuzzi?

    I mention these items in support of my call for a new job title: Certified Adult.

    I can sit down and bang out a 500 page book in six months. I’m a good husband, an okay father, and I’m great in a crisis. What I am not, even at age 67, is a competent adult. Each of the above items comes with a barrage of paperwork and detail, two things I hate. Each has emotional complexities that I also hate. Who gets how much of the modest inheritance from the MIL? How do we arrange the house purchase in a way that is respectful of the smaller contributions of the BF’s working class family? Am I an idiot to walk away from six million dollars? And which is better for re-sale value, a malfunctioning waterfall or a jacuzzi?

    As for taxes, I can’t get past the Marx Brothers. Taxes? I have an uncle who lives in taxes. No, no, taxes, money, dollars. That’s a right, my uncle lives in Dollars, Taxes.

    What I need is an old-fashioned, 1950’s sitcom dad or mom, a Father Knows Best kind of grown-up, the experienced, reassuring adult who knows how to think about these things, who can step in and make decisions for me without forcing me to fill out paperwork and talk to loan officers or acknowledge the existence of accountants. I think this is a profession, or should be.

    5
  17. Kathy says:

    There was one scene in part one of “The Dropout,” a drama about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos, which contained two things that got me thinking.

    The scene takes place at the home of Richard Fuisz, a friend of the Holmes family. When Holmes says she’s going into a medical tech field, Fuisz’s wife tells her that’s what her husband’s company does. Holmes asks whether this company doesn’t just patent medical devices to shake down other companies for use of their patents. This is rather impertinent, even if true. But what struck me is what Fuisz says in reply.

    More or less he says “My company’s worth $40 million, but I guess you think you’re smarter than I.”

    Imagine if Holmes had said she wanted to get into athletics instead, and Fuisz won a gold medal at the Olympics once. Then Holmes said something nasty about his career, and he replied “I won a gold medal, but I guess you think you’re smarter than I.”

    Does the latter make any sense? If not, does the first one make any sense?

    Neither one does to me.

    The other thing was that Holmes states, all of 18 years old, she wants to invent some device, found a company, and become a billionaire.

    This is a drama, essentially fiction, with many liberties taken, etc. but this kind of contradicts the narrative of Holmes as a revolutionary disruptor of a whole field.

  18. EddieInCA says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    What I need is an old-fashioned, 1950’s sitcom dad or mom, a Father Knows Best kind of grown-up, the experienced, reassuring adult who knows how to think about these things, who can step in and make decisions for me without forcing me to fill out paperwork and talk to loan officers or acknowledge the existence of accountants. I think this is a profession, or should be.

    I’ll do it. I’ll do it all for you.

    Fee: $6,000,000

    Have your people call my people and we will set it up.

    4
  19. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    A jacuzzi in the kitchen would send all kinds of wrong signals.

    8
  20. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Item #5, remodel the kitchen, install a jacuzzi?

    Kitchen Jacuzzi might cause hygiene problems, but could also be a fairly interesting way to pass the time while the casserole bakes…. 😉

    2
  21. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I see you beat me to it….

    2
  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jon: Thanx for the recommendations. I had spotted STL #1 & 2 (I grew up in STL so all things STL pop out to my eye) and had already marked them down. Metairie looks like an absolute must see. I can’t possibly visit them all in the 7 available days as my wife probably won’t allow me to visit more than 1 or 2 this trip. Gonna try and get to the Whitney Plantation and Avery Island too. Oh yeah, gotta spend some time with my granddaughter too. 😉

    1
  23. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy:

    Holmes asks whether this company doesn’t just patent medical devices to shake down other companies for use of their patents. This is rather impertinent, even if true.

    Sounds to me like unrealistic fiction. In the glibertarian techbro world wouldn’t that be taken as a compliment?

    3
  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: What I need is an old-fashioned, 1950’s sitcom dad or mom, a Father Knows Best kind of grown-up, the experienced, reassuring adult who knows how to think about these things, who can step in and make decisions for me without forcing me to fill out paperwork and talk to loan officers or acknowledge the existence of accountants.

    If you find one, let me know. I’m in the market too.

    Item #2 is that we’re buying a house for our daughter and her live-in BF (who we love, great kid). But there’s a big gap in income between the two families and we are worried about issues of pride, but also ownership.

    That’s a tough nut to crack, one I’ll never have to worry about. The only thing I can think of is to talk to your daughter and her BF about it, assuming you feel comfortable talking to him about it.

    1
  25. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I’ve been catching some of the Paralympics on TV, and I just want to say what a colossal piece of shit Madison Cawthorn is to have lied about being one of these amazing athletes.
    Available on USA Network and PeacockTV

    3
  26. Jon says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: You can dovetail the St. Louis ones with a tour of Treme and/or Mid-City (including City Park, NOMA, the Fairgrounds, etc.), and Metairie Cemetery is just right up the street from City Park. Boom, Bob’s your uncle.

    And bring the granddaughter along, NOMA and City Park have fun stuff for kids (though as a locals she’s probably seen it all before).

    Travel safe and have a great time!

    1
  27. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Yours is far less macabre.

    I mean, what is a large pot of hot water used for in a kitchen?

  28. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    You’re a writer. You’re not supposed to be competent at that stuff.

  29. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Whoa. Just, whoa. Strait to cannibalism? If you ever invite me over for dinner, I’m going to have to absolutely clarify the use of “for” in that sentence…

  30. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    That would be the wrong signal, you see.

  31. Joe says:

    What I need is an old-fashioned, 1950’s sitcom dad or mom, a Father Knows Best kind of grown-up, the experienced, reassuring adult who knows how to think about these things, who can step in and make decisions for me without forcing me to fill out paperwork and talk to loan officers or acknowledge the existence of accountants. I think this is a profession, or should be.

    @Michael Reynolds: I seem to be taking on (being given) this role in my extended family. I suppose I appreciate the fact that family seeks my advice. I also understand that they have observed me going through enough forced adulting experiences to earn their trust.

    1
  32. Sleeping Dog says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    You can slip more cemeteries in if you make them an outing with your granddaughter. 😉

    1
  33. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I’m pretty sure I work with a number of people in the Trump-o-sphere and a few of them are some of the most pleasant people to work with – highly competent and just good people.

    Both before and after Trump, I’ve never had difficulty believing Republicans can be good people. I know plenty who are. That’s not the issue I have with them at all.

    My basic problem over the years is that I’ve gradually come to the conclusion that I have a great deal of trouble respecting them. By “respect,” I’m talking about my opinion of their basic reasoning capabilities. The modern Republican Party is built squarely and fundamentally on nonsense–beliefs that have been conclusively shown to be objectively false. Conservative media is pretty much just wall-to-wall misinformation–strings of lies, distortions, and half-truths, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And it only requires the most cursory of examinations to prove it. This is not something remotely new to the Trump era–it was around for decades before he rose to the presidency.

    To accept all this, you have to be either extremely gullible or willfully delusional, and I am absolutely convinced that the vast majority of conservatives in the US are one or both of those things. You have to be fundamentally lacking in remedial critical thinking skills, and to have difficulty distinguishing reliable from unreliable sources of information. You have to be the sort of person who truly thinks you’ve owned global warming by bringing a snowball to the halls of Congress.

    8
  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jon: Thanx again for all the tips. I only get to NOLA once a year so I like to make the most of it.

    1
  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: An outing with my granddaughter and w/o my wife??? Impossible! I love my wife, but she does not share my fascination with cities of the dead.

  36. MarkedMan says:

    China seems to be having second thoughts about throwing their lot in with Russia. They are still expressing tepid support but are pledging aid to Ukraine. I don’t think this attempt to play both sides is going to benefit them. Xi very publicly and very strongly tied China to Russia just last month, and heaped scorn on the very idea that Russia would invade Ukraine. It looks like either Putin didn’t tell him, which makes Xi and China look like chumps, or that he did and China did nothing to protect or warn a major trading partner. We can speculate forever about how all of this played out between them, but we will never really know and in the end it doesn’t matter. Russia made a cock-up of things and dragged China in with it.

    2
  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: My basic problem over the years is that I’ve gradually come to the conclusion that I have a great deal of trouble respecting them. By “respect,” I’m talking about my opinion of their basic reasoning capabilities.

    This.

    The modern Republican Party is built squarely and fundamentally on nonsense–beliefs that have been conclusively shown to be objectively false.

    As MR says, it begins with their indoctrination into Christianity and all the stuff in their holy book that the laws of nature say are impossible. “But that’s why they are miracles!” If one can believe in miracles, one can believe in anything. Including the idea that trump was sent by God to guide America into a new age of Christianity.

    2
  38. Sleeping Dog says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    That’s why the grandchild is such a wonderful distraction. It’s a win, win, win, win. Gramma has her baby, grandchild has both of you, parents get the day off and you get the grandchild and the deceased gardens!

    1
  39. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod:

    I’ve gradually come to the conclusion that I have a great deal of trouble respecting them. By “respect,” I’m talking about my opinion of their basic reasoning capabilities.

    I more or less agree, but in a work environment it doesn’t mean that they can’t figure out a way to get a vendor to ship parts in short supply, or why turning on a particular LED causes a shift in bias current in an unrelated circuit. It makes intuitive sense that gullibility in putting a bunch of internet trolls above the CDC or a reputable investment advisor would translate into gullibility in all facets of their life, but in my experience this hasn’t proven to be the case.

    Trumpers are a different matter. I define a trumper as a belligerent and argumentative fool. This type of person is going to cause problems in the workplace, and should definitely be avoided. But for someone who, like me, keeps their opinion to themselves and can just get on with their work, it’s important to focus on job performance, not life choices.

  40. grumpy realist says:
  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Dan Price
    @DanPriceSeattle

    Gas prices are rising at their fastest pace ever and have topped $4 for the first time since 2008.

    Just a reminder that America gets 1% of its oil from Russia, while Exxon, Chevron, BP and Shell profits are at their highest level in over 7 years.

    But yeah, let’s blame Joe Biden.

    6
  42. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Mueller, She Wrote

    THREAD: PUTIN’S PLAN SHOWS WHY HE DIDN’T INVADE UKRAINE UNDER TRUMP.

    The “peace deal” he just offered is the same kind of deal trump allies were trying to get for Putin. As long as what Putin wanted was on the table, there was no need to invade. 1/

    1
  43. Sleeping Dog says:

    Oil Industry Pleads with Wall St to Stop Holding Back Investment

    Oil industry chiefs have called on Wall Street to stop holding back investment in new crude supply as “chaos” and “bedlam” threaten to overwhelm energy markets amid fears the west will ban Russian oil exports following the invasion of Ukraine.

    A friend, a retired Wall Streeter, is fond of saying that at a moment of political crisis, he looks to the markets to judge the seriousness. If WS is choosing not to invest in oil, it’s because they have no confidence that it will be a prudent investment when the crisis is over. The market is pouring money into renewables, infrastructure improvements and storage technologies.

    4
  44. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kylopod:

    To accept all this, you have to be either extremely gullible or willfully delusional,

    Other possibility: they’re deliberately making choices with the intent of hurting other people.

    Humans are not as simple as all black or all white, we are all shades of gray, capable of good, capable of evil. It is not at all surprising to find a person who is pleasant and well-behaved in public but secretly hordes kiddy-porn. If you doubt a person can be 100% lovely while seething with hatred, visit the old south.

    3
  45. Sleeping Dog says:

    Twitter isn’t reality.

    The writer does make the error of placing self described political independents in the middle of the partisan continuum.

    2
  46. Stormy Dragon says:

    Picking up a thread from yesterday, I too was once a commenter at Reason’s Hit&Run Blog, although I haven’t done so in (quick google) eight year now, and consider it part of my “recovering libertarian” status.

    3
  47. Jon says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Heh, reminds me of a line from the start of “Seymour: an Introduction” by Salinger.

    … these gallant confessions in themselves are no guarantee that we’ll find out whether he once got piqued at his pet hamster and stepped on its head.

    3
  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @EddieInCA: What he is describing is the roll that I played for my ex-wife. I did it for free and as an act of love. $6 million is too much. MR, I’ll do it for $3 million–provided that I don’t have to move to do it.

    1
  49. Sleeping Dog says:

    Dr.T bait

    The United States right now has four political parties stuffed into a two-party system — and that’s increasingly a big problem for the country.

    This reality becomes clear if you set aside the long-standing catchall labels “Democrat” and “Republican” and look at the fissures actually animating our politics. Importantly, by “party” I’m referring to an informal group of elected officials, intellectuals and institutions with a shared ideology and policy positions. Rank-and-file voters do play some role in shaping the views of these parties, but I think the process is largely driven by political professionals.

    1
  50. EddieInCA says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    MR, I’ll do it for $3 million–provided that I don’t have to move to do it.

    Who am I kidding? I’ll do it for a million, and a good bottle of Weller.

    And I don’t have to move because MR lives only 10 miles away, which with LA traffic, takes me an hour to travel.

    1
  51. DK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Exxon, Chevron, BP and Shell profits are at their highest level in over 7 years.

    There’s no price gouging happening. Raising prices while you’re already raking in enough billions in profits to do endless stock buybacks is surely not price gouging.

    Prices just magically raise by themselves; there’s no human agency involved anywhere in the process. To say someone made a decision is denialism or something.

    P.S. I think America gets about ~5-10% of its oil from Russia, but whatever. The point that we’re not reliant on Russian energy stands.

    4
  52. DK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    and that’s increasingly a big problem for the country.

    I ask again: what problems facing America go into the “solved” pile after the major party coalitions split into smaller parties? Because the parties split up, we start to agree on issues all of a sudden? People become better at critical thinking all of a sudden? The influence of Fox News evaporates? Corporate lobbying vanishes? The Supreme Court is no longer apartheid trash? The media stops bothsidesing?

    The problem is the American people. You can put whatever party labels you want on it, but garbage by any other name is still garbage.

    5
  53. Kathy says:

    @EddieInCA:

    A few more posts like this, and one of you will be offering Michael money to manage his life.

    5
  54. grumpy realist says:

    @DK: I would call it an expected result from the ability to have an excuse to raise prices.

    (or, if one is charitable, it’s an expected result of trying to put the risk of fluctuations on the other side.)

  55. @DK:

    what problems facing America go into the “solved” pile after the major party coalitions split into smaller parties?

    While it would take a longer response to fully flesh this out, imagine a Senate wherein there is a chance to cut a deal between the moderate left party and the non-Trump conservatives.

    Or, perhaps more to the point, consider a political world wherein every question isn’t automatically dichotomized into a W for me is a L for you (and vice versa).

    It would change governance.

    7
  56. DK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    If you doubt a person can be 100% lovely while seething with hatred, visit the old south.

    Or visit Boston or Los Angeles or, you know, anywhere.

    Source: Shocking secret racism I’ve encountered in Boston, Los Angeles, and other places. America could actually solve bigotry if we stopped pretending only Southerners do it while our hands are clean. Trump grew up in Queens and Manhattan?

    6
  57. Kylopod says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    While it would take a longer response to fully flesh this out, imagine a Senate wherein there is a chance to cut a deal between the moderate left party and the non-Trump conservatives.

    That sort of thing used to be routine in the United States, except it wasn’t small parties cutting deals with larger ones, it was factions within parties being given room to breathe. The present situation isn’t inherent to the two-party system, but developed as one faction took over the entire party and made everyone else subservient.

    5
  58. DK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    there is a chance to cut a deal between the moderate left party and the non-Trump conservatives.

    Wishful thinking. They can do that right now. There’s nothing stopping these so-called non-Trump conservatives (aka conservatives who secretly agree with Trump) from voting to save voting rights, fix climate change, enact sensible gun reforms etc. Except that they don’t want to, and changing the letter behind their name is not going to change that.

    Portman, Toomey, Selby, Blunt, and Burr are retiring. Murkowski, Collins, Romney, Graham, Scott, etc do not need Trump. What’s stopping these people? The letter behind their name, OK sure. Pollyanna has entered the chat.

    3
  59. Just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: From Thursday to yesterday, gas prices went up almost a dollar at some stations here. Never seen anything like it even in the 70s.

    1
  60. DK says:

    @Just nutha: Magic.

    1
  61. Kylopod says:

    @Just nutha: And the Republican playbook, as always, will be to simultaneously (a) attack Biden for inflation (b) pretend inflation doesn’t exist when comparing past and present rates.

  62. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jon:
    That is a brilliant quote!

    2
  63. Just nutha says:

    @EddieInCA: Okay! The gig’s yours.

    1
  64. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kylopod:
    Oh, I’m not doubting the existence of evil in Los Angeles – I live there. But southerners have perfected the art of seeming to be sugary sweet while plotting your destruction. Yankees don’t go in as much for misdirection.

    2
  65. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Lisa Alther once told me that southerners would bring you a pie to welcome you to town and then kill you.

    3
  66. Just nutha says:

    @Kylopod: I only made an observation. I attached no blame to anyone.

  67. MarkedMan says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: It would change governance, yes, but in a good way? Israel has cemented itself as an apartheid state and has additionally ceded massive state power to religious zealots, and also subsidizes hundreds of thousands of these zealots to do nothing but cause trouble, all because of these deals.

    1
  68. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: What Kylopod says.

    1
  69. KM says:

    @Kylopod:

    Conservative media is pretty much just wall-to-wall misinformation–strings of lies, distortions, and half-truths, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And it only requires the most cursory of examinations to prove it. This is not something remotely new to the Trump era–it was around for decades before he rose to the presidency.

    And it’s not just US media either – it’s fundamental to the nature of modern conservative media to straight up lie clearly disprovable lies for anyone thinking about it for 2 seconds. Here’s an example from Russia within the last day or so:

    At a televised gathering with female pilots and crew members from Aeroflot, Russia’s flagship airline carrier, one participant asked President Vladimir Putin a question that was perfectly crafted to conform with new government rules for reporting on his invasion of Ukraine.

    “We all support your actions, the special military operation that is proceeding there,” said one pilot, seated among some 20 women in Aeroflot uniforms at a long table, each with her own clear glass teapot. “We know that civilians do not suffer, but please reassure us what is at the end of this path.”

    BULLSHIT. Their country is being bombed – sorry, experiencing a “special military operation” for several weeks now. There’s no way in hell the civilians aren’t suffering if you knew anything about how guns, bombs or the military works…. or even stopped to think about how disruptive even a clockwork, precise and minimal invasion would have been. To believe this statement means willfully putting aside basic logic and reason to accept the offered BS. It means willfully believing you can send tanks to a neighboring nation and it won’t hurt or inconvenience them in the slightest. Small children understand this easily but adults will blindly bleat to your face the latest pro-Russian nonsense.

    To be a conservative in this era of instant information is to be intentionally gullible and willfully obstinate in the face of reason so they can keep in their bubble. They may be “good people” in a subjective sense but something in them is either defective or darkly to consistently choose to view the world like that. We’re all subjected to propaganda, remember – two people can hear the same BS but only one falls for it. It’s either a choice or an internal flaw but either way, it’s not a good thing.

    2
  70. a country lawyer says:

    The Ukrainians have announced the killing of a second Russian General. This reminds me the quote of Sir William Slim, Britian’s finest general of WW II, that “Nothing is so good for morale of the troops as occasionally to see a dead general”
    Of course, Slim was speaking of the troop’s own general.

    1
  71. inhumans99 says:

    @CSK:

    The wonderful show that was on FX several years back, Justified, had fun with this “fact,” in that one of the characters (granted, she was a crime boss, but still) was known to set up a meeting with you and share a slice of her apple pie. Great show, and I bet plenty of folks, Southerners and Yankees alike, will now pause and wonder if there should be cause for concern because the person you are meeting with chose Apple Pie as the sweet treat to enjoy during your meeting, when they could have chose a piece of Cherry or Peach Pie, or a nice slice of cake.

    1
  72. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    But southerners have perfected the art of seeming to be sugary sweet while plotting your destruction. Yankees don’t go in as much for misdirection.

    I lived in a Dallas suburb for a couple years in the early 70s. My neighbors and local friends were basically good people. I was open and honest with them , but had to eventually realize they thought telling the truth was some devious Yankee form of lying.

    3
  73. CSK says:

    @gVOR08:
    According to Florence King, southerners never let the truth interfere with a good story.

    1
  74. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DK: ?

    There’s no price gouging happening.

    Nobody said there was.

    Raising prices while you’re already raking in enough billions in profits to do endless stock buybacks is surely not price gouging.

    I do believe it’s called, “greed” but feel free to label it however you like.

    Prices just magically raise by themselves; there’s no human agency involved anywhere in the process.

    It’s not magic, it’s supply and demand and human agency lies at the center of it.

    To say someone made a decision is denialism or something.

    I’m not even sure what this refers to.

  75. JohnSF says:

    Local supermarket petrol station price now £1.6/L for regular unleaded.
    I think that converts to equivalent roughly $9.5 per gallon.

    Going to be considerably higher fairly soon.

    Current estimate that average household heating bills on renewal of £3500 per annum.
    I expect them to spike higher by early summer.

    1
  76. grumpy realist says:

    @CSK: King’s analysis of the Southern obsession to trace one’s family line back to Bonnie Prince Charlie is hilarious.

    1
  77. Kathy says:

    Biden’s announced a ban on Russian oil.

    Rationally, this shouldn’t send prices sky high, because the US import very little oil from Russia. But what happens if other countries follow suit, especially EU countries who import more oil from Russia?

    More to the point, what happens to Russia’s income? What oil they sell will be priced high, but how much can they sell?

  78. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM:

    “We all support your actions, the special military operation that is proceeding there,” said one pilot, seated among some 20 women in Aeroflot uniforms at a long table, each with her own clear glass teapot. “We know that civilians do not suffer, but please reassure us what is at the end of this path.”
    …………………………….
    To believe this statement means willfully putting aside basic logic and reason to accept the offered BS.

    I just want to note that there is nothing in what you quoted that indicates the individual was liberal or conservative, just that they were Russian. From the tenor of the question I think it is safe to say that he wants to live. I also rather doubt he is expecting a sensible answer to his question.

    What is his purpose in asking it then? I don’t know, maybe he just drew the short straw.

  79. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: And me.

  80. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @a country lawyer: I just finished Halberstam’s The Coldest Winter. Astounding how many US Generals died in the winter of ’50-’51. Not to mention Bird Colonels.

  81. OzarkHillbilly says:

    soonergrunt A Capybara Appreciation Account@soonergrunt

    I don’t think oppression of speech is up on college campuses. I went to college off and on from 1998 through 2008, and people disagreed with me and others all the time. People even talked about “political correctness”. Conservatives whining about victimization is what’s up.

    They whine and complain because they can’t say whatever they want without being called out.
    Well, boo fucking hoo. Or the fake liberal in the NYT OpEd today-you held your tongue because you THOUGHT YOU MIGHT be confronted? That’s called reading the room, but it’s entirely on you.

    Having people disagree with you is part of life. You have no right to an agreeable audience.
    Disagreeing is not censorship. As a lifelong holder of minority beliefs, I can straight up say ‘grow the fuck up, learn to speak better, and deal with people not kissing your ass.”

    StandWithUkraineHat
    @Popehat

    In college, on a number of occasions people suggested my views were stupid. Sometimes they were wrong. In law school, I got hissed at for stuff I said, which was a thing then. And yet I was not a victim of oppression. I ran my mouth anyway and lived with the consequences.

    /2 And that was ridiculously Ago. It was, what, 1990 when I got kicked out of the campus pro-choice alliance for badthink. And some people were very loudly upset about political correctness then, more than 30 years ago. So count me skeptical that things are historically bad now.

    /3 I’m also skeptical that there was ever an idealized “open” college environment where unpopular ideas didn’t get met with social hostility. When was this? And what then-and-there unpopular ideas were actually floated without social consequence and inarticulate pushback?

    7
  82. a country lawyer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: And not all were by enemy action. LGen. Walton Walker, the U.S. commanding general, was killed when his jeep rolled over.

  83. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @a country lawyer: It never is all. I remember reading about WW dying, had forgotten exactly how. It was just surprising turning a page and there’s another dead general. It was almost like the Civil War.

  84. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    All oil is a global market (to a very large extent).
    Similar with natural gas, but modified by shipping being trickier.

    In the UK, we obtain 44% of natural gas from UK North Sea and Irish Sea
    Of the 56% imported: Norway about 60%; Qatar 30%; Netherlands 7%.
    Russia, very little.

    That has not, and will not, stop our methane prices spiking up along with the European market rate.
    Basic market mechanisms in operation.
    (Of course, how far you allow free markets to function is another issue entirely)

    3
  85. Kathy says:

    Now I wonder whether healthy children really need to be vaccinated against measles, polio, pertussis, rubella, etc. At least in Florida, where the state’s recommendation is not to vaccinate them against COVID.

    1
  86. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Having people disagree with you is part of life. You have no right to an agreeable audience.

    I don’t want to reenter the argument, but it should be noted the author explicitly said she welcomed being challenged and having a serious debate. The column was about fearing that having opinions different than the expected group-think would have repercussions on her grades and similar.

    2
  87. Sleeping Dog says:

    Meta’s Sheryl Sandberg: ‘No two countries run by women would ever go to war’

    I expect this claim, if even accurate, won’t last any longer than the claim that 2 countries that have a McDonalds would go to war.

    1
  88. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    There are lots of indications that the oil majors and traders are refusing to touch Russian oil.
    IIRC Harvard Law mentioned a whole offering of Russian oil trades going unsold a few days ago.

    And in the UK dockers are refusing to allow Russian oil to be unloaded.

    They may be able to stick in dodgy third party tankers flagged out of Macao or some such, and try flogging it somewhere.

    But lotsa luck getting insurance; and then the possibility before very long of court cases for seizure of Russian assets to cover the foreign currency payments due they are refusing to meet would not surprise me.
    Fun, fun, fun for the lawyers.

    Not to mention that right now their main oil ports on the Black Sea are not operating.

    Maybe Denmark will close the Sound, for added entertainment.

    2
  89. Kathy says:

    @JohnSF:

    I’ll butcher J.B.S. Haldane and paraphrase: the market isn’t more complicated than you imagine, it’s more complicated than you can imagine.

    2
  90. Jon says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @MarkedMan: Nope, we’re not doing this again today. Too soon. History being any judge MR will find another NYT op-ed on the same topic in a couple weeks or months, and we can start this back up then.

    4
  91. Jen says:

    Poland is giving Ukraine their MiG-29s:

    https://twitter.com/mmcintire/status/1501281546430566403?

    Transferring them to the US, the US will then turn them over to Ukraine. Poland has urged other NATO countries to do the same.

    5
  92. DaveD says:

    @DK: while agree with you on that having grown up in Milwaukee which is either one or two on the list of most segregated cities in the country, since moving to Huntsville, AL the racism down here is to a degree of difference I couldn’t have imagined. I haven’t gone a week since moving down here a year ago that I haven’t heard a white person say the n word, often in front of POC. Northern racism is much sneakier but it is out front. It’s just accepted down here in way that is hard for me to grasp. Back home there would be a fight if a white person said the n word in mixed company, down here it’s just an aspect of life. I’ve also been told several times Huntsville is the most progressive city down here and we might as well be yankees.

    1
  93. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @JohnSF:

    Correct. I was only referring to Surgutneftegas back then, which failed to elicit any bids for Urals crude in three consecutive tenders, but we are obviously way beyond just that scenario now. AFAICT, the market is just shunning Russian crude essentially across the board.

    1
  94. MarkedMan says:

    @Jon: 😉

    2
  95. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Just in: Guy Reffitt, the first of the “serious” Jan 6 defendants to go to trial – convicted on all five charges. The jury deliberated less than 4 hours.

    5
  96. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jen:

    Which is almost certainly to say that we are buying them (either in coin or replacement equipment) from Poland and passing them on Ukraine. To which I say: great. Let’s do more of it.

    3
  97. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Indeed. Southerners will smile to someone’s face but talk about them behind their back. All of the imagined gentility is a facade / exercise in performance art for appearances. Northerners don’t have time for such silliness. We will smile to their face while directly telling them that they’re an asshole.

    2
  98. Jen says:

    Putin’s cyber-psyops is in overdrive. They are circulating propaganda that purports to fact-check Ukrainian fakes.

    In other words, Russian disinformation campaigns are now creating fake-fakes and then “fact checking” them.

    4
  99. JohnSF says:

    @Jen:
    @HarvardLaw92:
    Apparently deal is Poland transfers planes, gets increased USAF forward air deployment probably boosting the planes operating out of Łask Air Base.

    Also increased French and RAF forward air patrols, and the French and Danish BAP operating out of Amari and Siauliai.

    Apparently the problem has been scrounging up F-16s and F-35’s to supply to Poland (and Romania? Bulgaria?) to fill the holes in their strength.
    They understandably don’t want to be short of aircraft right now.

    I suspect transfers from USANG.
    Also wonder if there any F-18’s that might be transferred as backfill, albeit with more need for pilot and groundcrew training and support facilities.

    1
  100. Kathy says:
  101. Stormy Dragon says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I don’t want to reenter the argument, but it should be noted the author explicitly said she welcomed being challenged and having a serious debate.

    She welcomes “being challenged and having a serious debate” in the imaginary right wing version of debate where she stands up, makes her speech, and everyone is just so bowled over by her brilliance that they give her a stand ovation and then rush out of class to go join the Federalist Society.

    But instead people fidgeted in their seats, suggesting they had the temerity to not be convinced by her arguments, which is really just unforgiveable oppression.

    9
  102. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    Spasibo!
    President Putin working on that, but is very busy right now.
    Please be waiting for further exciting informations.
    Dasvidaniya.

  103. @Kylopod:

    That sort of thing used to be routine in the United States, except it wasn’t small parties cutting deals with larger ones, it was factions within parties being given room to breathe. The present situation isn’t inherent to the two-party system, but developed as one faction took over the entire party and made everyone else subservient.

    The thing is that the two-party system prior to 1994 had an almost embedded three party system (because south conservative Dems were their own thing). This created an unusual, and almost certainly NOT repeatable, situation. As I have detailed before, it was because of the US Civil War and the fact that the southeast was solid Democrat.

    I know people want it to be about one part misbehaving (and there is definitely some of that), but I really, truly want people to understand that, yes, a HUGE part of the problem is structure.

    We are seeing the expected results of polarized two-partyism with presidentialism. The previous period was the period of aberration, not the current period.

    See, for example:

    US Party System Evolution
    Partisan Control in the Congress
    More on the Evolution of US Party Politics

    4
  104. @DK:

    They can do that right now.

    The incentives mitigate against it.

    The general behavior is roughly what we would expect given the incentives. Compromise won’t lead the current GOP to victory, but obstruction will. Hence, they obstruct. There is not incentive to compromise. With more parties the incentive structure changes.

    3
  105. Jon says:

    @Stormy Dragon: What did I just say? Do not make me take my belt off 😉

    1
  106. Gustopher says:

    @Stormy Dragon: or worse, people might just ignore her because she is a waste of time.

    Why bother “debating” the closed mind?

    I await my NY Times OpEd.

    4
  107. @MarkedMan: @

    Israel

    We have a highly polarized, locked-in 2-party system. Israel has a highly fragmented, fluid, multiparty system. These are two ends of a spectrum. As such, the appropriate answer to “the US needs more parties” is not “well, Israel has too many.”

    This is like saying my tea is too hot, could you please heat it up for me, and you telling me that the sun would melt my face and why would I want that? Well, almost 😉

    2
  108. Gustopher says:

    We might need a daily “Ukraine exists” forum to keep the Open Forum clear for things like bickering about cancel culture, recipes for boiling guests in jacuzzis, xylophones, etc.

    5
  109. Gustopher says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Tea, Earl Gray, superheated to a plasma.

  110. Kathy says:

    @JohnSF:

    I’d tell you I’m hopeful SpaceX’s Starship will succeed in putting people on Mars, but then we’ll make a hash of the red planet as we did of the blue one.

    2
  111. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Gustopher:

    For me, the most telling line in the op-ed was the “I Came to College Eager to Debate”.

    She didn’t come to college to learn, you see, but to debate, because she already has all the answers and just needs to convert the barbarians.

    7
  112. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    Surely God-Emperor Elon I, Twice Born Pharaoh of the Red Lands, would never allow such a thing to befall his chosen people!

    1
  113. Sleeping Dog says:

    @JohnSF:

    A large number, if not all, of the available F-16’s have been committed to Taiwan, who can use them as well. Don’t know how this has been finessed.

  114. Kathy says:

    @JohnSF:

    I’m sure he won’t, but it’s not relevant. Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain.

    1
  115. KM says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    She. It was a group of female pilots and crew members from Aeroflot who were clearly there to feed him lines. That’s not in question. What’s in question is anyone who, like you, didn’t immediately go “well she clearly said that she’s not F’ed” but rather “OMG that’s a relief. The military just confirmed no civilians were being harmed. Those lying Ukrainians are lying and must be Nazis like Putin said!”

    It’s clearly propaganda. But it’s working on someone and that someone is likely to be conservative as that’s who is pushing the Everyone’s Fine and Putin’s Just Nazi Huntin’ BS. It also neatly dovetails in the religious BS about how it’s a holy war against a secular or evil order (looking at you evangelicals and Russian Orthodox) or FOX / GOP BS about how Putin’s not really a murderous invading wannabe emperor but was *made* to do it for reasons (current lies are VP Harris tricked him into it or was so incompetent he HAD to invade to get dem Nazzis and free Donbas). Again, the conservative accepts the clear untruth because it complements their preferred internal reality rather then think about it for 5 seconds. Staged thing was obviously staged yes but it sold listeners on the lie. It gets picked up and repeated ad nauseum across the ecosphere and now internationally as Russia TV airs FOX to prove their point and vice versa.

    My point stands – you called it out for what it was. FOX won’t and it’s watchers won’t. It will either be ignored or absorbed into the larger body of “evidence” that Ukraine is fake news, not as bad as the liberal media’s making it sound or all Biden’s fault instead of Putin.

    1
  116. Jamie says:

    I wonder what Edward Snowden is thinking, these days.

    1
  117. Kathy says:

    Now I’m confused. I though the US government, which I assume includes the military, negotiated the transfer of the MiG-29s from Poland to Ukraine by way of the US.

    But now: US dismisses Polish plan to provide fighter jets to be sent to Ukraine.

    Seriously, WTF?

  118. Mikey says:

    @Jamie: To hell with that traitor. He can rot in Russia while it collapses.

    3
  119. Jax says:

    @Kathy: Plausible deniability. We don’t talk about Fight Club.

    2
  120. DK says:

    @Kathy: Pentagon, when the fighter jets are in Ukraine next week: “I’m shocked, shocked those fighter jets are in Ukraine. How did those get there? Your guess is as good as mine.”

    2
  121. Mister Bluster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:..grandchildren…

    I got to briefly experience that joy. By the time I married my ex her adopted daughter Monica was an adult and had children of her own.
    Monica was born in a whorehouse in Saigon in 1970. She is half white and half Vietnamese. Her mama was a hooker and her daddy was a GI Joe. She never knew her biological parents. In 1975 when Saigon fell she was evacuated to Guam where my ex was living. As a teenager in Guam she got in trouble with the law. That’s how the two of them met. My ex was her probation officer.
    My ex relocated back to the US to go to law school. Before we were married Monica and her family, husband, 3 daughters and infant son and two girl cousins ranging in age from the baby to 12 years old flew from Guam to Hawaii to LA to Houston to Orlando. Ex and me drove to Florida to see them. We were there for 3 days. One day was spent at Disney World. A good time was had by all.
    I tried to keep in touch with Monica and her family after my divorce. I sent birthday cards and Christmas cards and care packages for the kids. Never once got any kind of acknowledgment that the gifts and cards were received. After three years I gave up.
    I can only hope that they are all happy and well. The Disney World excursion was in 1995. The newborn baby boy is closing in on 30 now.
    The Disney World pictures are still on my refrigerator door.
    Everytime I look at those kids I have to tell myself no more tears

    3
  122. MarkedMan says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I’ve asked you before, but received no answer, where is the evidence that increasing the number of parties brings better outcomes? My gut tells me this is not so, but my gut is wrong with distressing frequency. So I am asking sincerely, what is the evidence that increasing the number of parties leads to Sweden and not Israel?

  123. Jax says:

    @MarkedMan: I’ve always wondered why we have to have “parties” at all. Say nobody’s allowed to announce which party they’re “for”, and then let the voters sort that shit out, without any R’s or D’s behind their names.

  124. Scott O says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Sorry to hear about your MIL. My mom was similar, made it to 88. She had a long life and good life so she beat the odds.

    A jacuzzi? How often would you use it? Everyday for a week, less often as time goes by, rarely if ever after a year? That seems to be the pattern that I’ve observed but maybe you’re a true enthusiast.

  125. Kylopod says:

    @Jax: I’m not getting into the history. You really don’t know it? Washington would have agreed with you, but parties emerged anyway, and there hasn’t ever been a functioning democracy in the modern world without competitive parties.

    As for letting the voters sort it out, are you serious? When I see that a candidate is a Dem, they could be total trash as far as I know–but the law of averages suggests they’re a lot saner than any Republicans. I can vote straight D without having to research any of the candidates, and know with reasonable confidence that they’re the better of the two options.

    In 2014, during the Louisiana Senate race, Democrat Mary Landrieu came out against medical marijuana, and Republican Bill Cassidy came out for it. If I lived in Louisiana, would that have led me to vote for the Republican? Probably not, but at least it would have given me pause. I mention this example because it was a rare case where a Republican was clearly better than his Dem opponent on a specific issue–and that was 8 years ago, in an election cycle that was basically a last hurrah of the Blue Dogs. I can’t think of a single time that’s ever happened again.

    I don’t need people to have a D or R after their name to know what they’re about. Bernie Sanders and Angus King don’t have a D after their name, but at least they organize with the Dems. If tomorrow King were to suddenly announce he was caucusing with the Repubs as he’s mused about doing in the past, that would mean he’d joined the dark side. It would instantly tell me more about him than a list of his stated positions ever could.

    3
  126. Jax says:

    @Kylopod: No, I know the history, I was just wishing on a fairy tale. 🙂